Queens of the Stone Age frontdude Josh Homme sat down with SPIN recently for an in-depth interview that covered his entire career and briefly touched upon a serious health scare he suffered in late 2010. The …Like Clockwork leader wouldn’t go into specifics, but he confirmed that he was bedridden for several months, struggling to recover. Now, Homme has opened up about that life-threatening ordeal to comedian and podcast overlord Marc Maron, explaining — for the first time publicly, he says — what exactly occurred.
“I think I just beat myself until I got really sick and needed surgery because it was physically manifesting itself,” the 40-year-old Homme says in the latest episode of Maron’s twice-weekly WTF podcast. Maintaining a strenuous work-schedule of touring and writing and producing records eventually contributed to Homme developing a MRSA, which he describes as “an antibiotic-resistant staph.”
“And I couldn’t shake it because my immune system was so destroyed,” Homme says in the 90-minute interview. “People die of that all the time. In fact, down the hall, someone died of it when I was in the hospital and I was like, ‘Oh no, what have I done?'”
The Queens king then reveals that he did actually die while in surgery. “I kind of choked to death,” he says, recalling that doctors lost him briefly while they were trying to put an oxygen tube down his throat. “There was no ‘tunnel,'” he says, before joking, “Or there was traffic at the tunnel.”
Thankfully, Homme survived and immediately began his months-long recovery, but the California native says that when he came to after surgery, he felt like he had lost something. “When I woke up, I knew something was wrong,” he says. “I’ve always heard music in my head since I was a little kid and I’ve just played at that, and when I woke up this time, I heard nothing for a couple of years… I’d never been knocked down that hard.”
Of course, Homme got back to making music and gifted us with this year’s masterful …Like Clockwork, as well as a recent live EP recorded at the iTunes Festival in London. And as for the rest of the WTF Q&A, Homme and Maron’s chat touches on a broad range of topics, including Homme’s tenure with Kyuss; his rigorous work ethic (“If you’re having writer’s block, keep writing,” he explains); his appreciation of comedy legend George Carlin and punk icon Iggy Pop; the broken beauty of the American desert (all epic mullets and tweaker teeth, as he puts it); and his love of filling songs with hooks (“I need it to be like a fucking bait shop, just hooks everywhere”).
Maron says it best at the start of the podcast: “Fucking dude is solid.”
Stream the whole episode on the WTF website, grab it through iTunes, or download it directly. It opens with an intro from Maron, as always, but Homme comes in at around the 13:00 mark. Find Queens of the Stone Age’s upcoming, Nine Inch Nails-assisted tour dates below.
Queens of the Stone Age tour dates: